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Newsletter June 2021

Number of multi-MW systems in industry keeps growing

As Covid-19 held the world in its grip, many suppliers of industrial solar heat systems were forced to delay the closing of contracts and the installation of projects last year. In the end, only 71 SHIP plants were commissioned around the world in 2020, compared to 86 and 99 in 2019 and 2018, respectively. These are the results of annual surveys of the 75 solar thermal businesses listed on the SHIP Supplier World Map.

Reporting 30 finalised projects in all, China took the lion’s share of the 2020 market, far outpacing runners-up Mexico (16) and Germany (10). China’s support policies not only helped to revive the national economy post-pandemic but also encouraged industrial clients to invest in solar heat. And although many technology suppliers around the globe were grappling with delays in system installation and construction, several multi-megawatt projects did reach completion before year’s end, including a 10.5 MW
th system heating agricultural greenhouses in the Netherlands (see photo).

SHIP supplier survey results
World’s largest SHIP plant 2020
Uncapped funding for large solar heat plants
by Bärbel Epp

The Austrian Climate and Energy Fund has increased the budget of its grant scheme for large solar thermal plants and is now offering EUR 45 million in 2021 and 2022 for conducting feasibility studies, putting up new systems as well as monitoring them. 

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Europe holds top spot for SHIP incentives
by Bärbel Epp

Spain has recently launched an investment grant scheme focused on industrial solar heat, joining an already long list of European countries – including Austria, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands – that have created similar programmes according to a survey carried out by IEA SHC Task 64.

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Energy Community aims for 0.01  % to 3 % solar share in heating sector
by Frank Stier

Vienna-based Energy Community’s launch of a Heating and Cooling Network in September 2020 was a clear indication that it wants to move beyond its current focus on renewable electricity. The network sees bright prospects for SDH in the medium term.

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New SDH factsheet database goes online

The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme has just launched a database containing a substantial number of fact sheets about solar district heating technologies, best practices and markets. The 29 documents were written by the most experienced SDH researchers and practitioners from China and Europe.

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Winners named in Helsinki Energy Challenge 

An expert panel has now picked four winning ideas from the 252 submitted for the Helsinki Energy Challenge, which gave stakeholders in the energy market a chance to put forward their solutions for carbon-neutral district heating in Finland’s capital by 2035.

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Some good news from COVID-plagued Brazil
by Bärbel Epp

Brazil’s solar thermal market continued to grow in 2020 despite the pandemic taking a heavy toll on the country. The newly installed glazed and unglazed collector area increased by 7.2 %, to 992 MWth. A cut in interest rates spurred demand in the second half of 2020, offsetting lower sales in the first six months of the year.

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IKEA to invest EUR 4 billion in clean energy
by Frank Stier

By 2030, furniture retail giant Inter IKEA Group intends to minimise its carbon footprint. All products will then be manufactured using only renewable energies for power, transport, heating and air conditioning. Several award-winning solar heat plants at selected locations show what IKEA’s sustainable strategy in heating and cooling may look like in practice.

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